There's No Place Like Home
" The Sculptor's Funeral", a short story by Willa Cather, emphasizes the behavior and idea of parochialism & provincialism. What's interesting is that this idea is shared by Harvey Merrick, the main character, as well as the townspeople who resent him for leaving. " Harve never was much account for anything practical and he shore was never fond of work" (Cather par. 56) Why is this? Could there be different levels of parochialism? One person may feel that home is where the heart is, but you must also explore the world around you. On the other hand, another individual may only recognize hometown pride in people who remain to live in the town in which they were born.
The author makes a point to establish the location and time period of the story. We are told that the home of Harvey Merrick is a small town in Kansas, and can infer the time period due to the various means of transportation (i.e. trains, carriages, etc.). "It's too bad he didn't belong to some lodge or other. I like an order funeral myself. They seem more appropriate for people of some reputation." (Cather par.6) Harvey Merrick is a world famous sculptor and happens to be practically unknown in his
Hometown. This case of provincialism may not entirely be due to the nature of man. We must also keep in mind that the technology and transportation at the time would also make it difficult to leisurely commute outside of your immediate area. However, the statement above told by the man in the Grand Army Suit is provincial. The idea of an order goes along the same lines of a chapter. They are relatively small in size and they prefer to be operated locally. We such groups designated to their regional area by group code, such as Chapter 83 or Order #316. These Orders may include members from various places, but their focus is on the area in which they live. While promoting unity, it closes off the discovery of social and economic life around you. Even...
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